Boulay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The Boulay surname is generally thought to derived from the Old French word "boul", denoting a type of birch tree. As a name it was likely first used by someone living near such trees, or perhaps from a place with a name derived from the tree name. It has also been suggested that some instances of the Boulay name find their roots in the French word "boule," which means "ball." In this case the name was likely originally a nickname for someone of a rotund shape. La Boulaye is a commune in the Saône-et-Loire department in the region of Bourgogne in eastern France. Fort De La Boulaye, also known as Mississippi Fort, was a fort built by the French in 1700, to take control over the Mississippi. Native Americans forced the French to vacate the fort by 1707.
Early Origins of the Boulay family
The surname Boulay was first found in Normandy (French: Normandie), the former Duchy of Normandy, where the family first originated, maintaining their status as one of the more distinguished families of the region. Simon Boulet, squire and Lord of Crahan, first registered the family coat of arms in Bayeux in 1696. The family prospered and branched out into other regions in France such as Poitou, Aunis, and Saintonge. 
Robert Boulet, born in 1630, married Françoise Grenier, born in 1634, in France in 1657. Robert and Françoise, along with their daughter, Jacqueline, travelled from La Rochelle, France to Quebec, Canada in 1662. They remained together in Quebec until Robert's death on 24th March 1707. Françoise passed away two years later on 29th January 1709. 
Important Dates for the Boulay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Boulay research. Another 72 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1669, 1773, 1678, 1642, 1732, 1672, 1728, 1799, 1761, 1840, 1861 and 1942 are included under the topic Early Boulay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Boulay Spelling Variations
Changes of spelling have occurred in most surnames. The earliest explanation is that during the early development of the French language, names were not yet fixed in spelling. Usually a person gave his version of his name, phonetically, to a scribe, a priest, or a recorder. This depended on accent, and local accents frequently changed the spelling of a name. Some variables were adopted by different branches of the family name. Hence, there are some spelling variations of the name Boulay, including Boulet, du Boulet, Boulez, Boullet, Boullée, Bouley, Boulay, Boullay, Bouletot, Boulot, Boullot, Boulais, Bouloy, Bouloi, Boulois, Duboulay, Dubouloy, Boul, Boule, Boulle, Boulles, Bouleau, Boulleau and many more.
Early Notables of the Boulay family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family in this period was César-Egasse du Boulay (died 1678), known as Bulaeus, a French historian; André Charles Boulle (1642-1732), French cabinetmaker who became one of the most important suppliers...
Another 32 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Boulay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Boulay migration to the United States
France was active as a cultural leader in the early 16th century. One particular area in which they lead was the exploration of the New World. The explorers, like Jacques Cartier in 1534, led the way to North America. Champlain, in 1608, made the first of twenty voyages to France to attract settlers and brought the first migrant in 1617. By 1675, there were 7000 French in Quebec, and the French Acadian presence in the Maritimes had reached 500. The French founded Lower Canada, thus becoming one of the two great founding nations of Canada. The family name Boulay has made many distinguished contributions in France and New France to the world of science, culture, religion, and education. Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Boulay were
Boulay Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- Pierre Octave Boulay, aged 46, who landed in America from Paris, in 1903
- Jules Boulay, aged 32, who landed in America from Paris, France, in 1907
- Lucien Pierre Boulay, aged 40, who immigrated to America from Paris, France, in 1912
- Pierre Boulay, aged 23, who immigrated to the United States from Borfoune, France, in 1912
- Josephine Boulay, aged 28, who immigrated to the United States from Treyes, France, in 1921
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Contemporary Notables of the name Boulay (post 1700)
- Olivier Boulay (b. 1957), French automobile designer
- Herménégilde Boulay (1861-1942), Canadian politician, farmer, manufacturer, merchant and trader
- Étienne Boulay (b. 1983), Canadian CFL football safety
- Roger Houssemayne du Boulay, member of Her Majesty's Diplomatic Service
- Francine Boulay Parizeau (b. 1953), former Canadian handball player
- Antoine Boulay de la Meurthe (1761-1840), French statesman
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- ^ Hozier, Charles D, and Antoine Bachelin-Delforenne. État présent De La Noblesse française (1883-1887): Contenant Le Distionnaire De La Noblesse Contemporaine Et Larmorial général De France, Dapres Les Manuscrits De Ch. D Hozier. Librairie Des Bibliophiles, 1884. Print.
- ^ Olivier, Reginald L. Your Ancient Canadian Family Ties. Logan: The Everton Publishers, Inc., P.O. Box 368, 1972. Print